Monday, July 27, 2009


Royal Albert Hall


We saw Mohican boy crossing the street in front of the Royal College of Music at least 90 minutes before the Prom.
Turns out he was featured on bongo and vibraphone.
Percussion was prominent in this new collaborative work – A Rough Guide to the Proms Family Orchestra – based loosely on the concept of Britten's guide, with which it shared the programme.

No narration in either, unfortunately, though the new piece, conducted by Lincoln Abbotts, did have Ian McMillan's verse: The night is salted with stars …

It was a varied ten minutes, influenced by folk music from England and Algeria, and featuring a wide array of instruments and talents, with a few BBCPO hands in there as mentors. Probably more fun to do than to hear.

Elsewhere, though, this was no dumbed-down kids' concert. Young Generation Artist Jennifer Pike gave us a rare Holst – A Song of the Night – and there was a world premiere of Richard Rodney Bennett's orchestral version of his Lilliburlero Variations. All played very stylishly by the BBC Phil, on early duty after their wonderful Prom of the night before.

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